EP2722267A1 - Personnel transfer system - Google Patents

Personnel transfer system Download PDF

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Publication number
EP2722267A1
EP2722267A1 EP13185587.6A EP13185587A EP2722267A1 EP 2722267 A1 EP2722267 A1 EP 2722267A1 EP 13185587 A EP13185587 A EP 13185587A EP 2722267 A1 EP2722267 A1 EP 2722267A1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
transfer
seating
passenger
securing
anyone
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP13185587.6A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Philip Strong
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Reflex Marine Ltd
Original Assignee
Reflex Marine Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Reflex Marine Ltd filed Critical Reflex Marine Ltd
Priority to EP08380155.5A priority Critical patent/EP2123552B1/en
Priority to EP13185587.6A priority patent/EP2722267A1/en
Publication of EP2722267A1 publication Critical patent/EP2722267A1/en
Withdrawn legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63CLAUNCHING, HAULING-OUT, OR DRY-DOCKING OF VESSELS; LIFE-SAVING IN WATER; EQUIPMENT FOR DWELLING OR WORKING UNDER WATER; MEANS FOR SALVAGING OR SEARCHING FOR UNDERWATER OBJECTS
    • B63C9/00Life-saving in water
    • B63C9/02Lifeboats, life-rafts or the like, specially adapted for life-saving
    • B63C9/03Lifeboats, life-rafts or the like, specially adapted for life-saving enclosed
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING 
    • B63B27/00Arrangement of ship-based loading or unloading equipment for cargo or passengers
    • B63B27/16Arrangement of ship-based loading or unloading equipment for cargo or passengers of lifts or hoists
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING 
    • B63B27/00Arrangement of ship-based loading or unloading equipment for cargo or passengers
    • B63B27/30Arrangement of ship-based loading or unloading equipment for transfer at sea between ships or between ships and off-shore structures

Abstract

A transfer device for transferring people and/or personal equipment from a first location to a second location, the transfer device having means for coupling it to a lifting device and comprising an outer structure in the form of a cage defining an inner space comprising seating elements which comprise a seat (8) and a backrest (9) and are asymmetric, wherein the asymmetry of the seating element directs the passenger to take preferentially one of the two possible directions for exiting the transfer device.

Description

  • This invention relates to an apparatus designed to transfer personnel and/or personal equipment from one vessel to an offshore installation or another vessel.
  • The process of transferring personnel from one vessel to an offshore installation or another vessel while both are at sea is a difficult and dangerous aspect of offshore platform work, particularly where rough seas or high wind conditions are present. Existing methods of achieving transfer have significant limitations in terms of safety and practicality. This invention offers a system which reduces the risks associated with transfer in a range of weather conditions.
  • In this field it is already known that there are several methods of transfer, which include those outlined below.
  • Most offshore transfers involve the use of a crane to lift and move the apparatus that carries personnel and equipment from an offshore platform or a vessel to another vessel, or vice versa.
  • Currently, a widespread apparatus to accomplish such a transfer is a rope basket having a rigid bottom, commonly known in the industry as a "Billy Pugh" basket. Personnel stand on the rigid bottom and hold onto the rope lines for support and safety. This apparatus has several major drawbacks. First, personnel are not typically secured to the basket. Second, personnel are not protected in any way from impact during the transfer. Third, additional space to transfer equipment is minimal. Finally, there is minimal provision to protect personnel and equipment in the event of submersion of the basket
  • Another structure for transferring personnel and equipment is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,713,710 . This patent discloses an apparatus for transferring objects from a first location to a second location. This transfer is accomplished through the use of a lifting device and a transfer device. The transfer device comprises an outer structure which defines an inner space in which an object to be transferred may be located and a securing device to secure the object to the transfer device during transfer. The transfer device of Strong is buoyant and self-righting when in water. The transfer device disclosed in Strong may include shock absorbing means on the underside.
  • In an intent to improve the structure described in US 5,713,710 , US patent application number 2001/0018015 A1 describes another structure capable of being attached to a lifting device such as a crane hook and comprising a load bearing support structure which supports a base and walled surface over a large surface area. A central support member for personnel is attached to a point on the base of the apparatus and a point on the top portion of the apparatus to provide stable support for a seating assembly and includes a dynamic compression system for supporting and distributing various weights. The load bearing central support structure is designed to create multiple pressure and stress points, thereby decreasing the force exerted at each point.
  • Although the apparatus described in US 5,713,710 and US patent application number 2001/0018015 A1 are satisfactory in many respects it has now been found that there is still room for improving the level of protection for the personnel during ingress to, transport and egress from said structures.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Thus the present invention relates to an apparatus for transferring objects from a first location to a second location or transfer device which offers optimal protection for the personnel during ingress to, transport and egress from said structures
  • The transfer device of the invention has means for coupling it to a lifting device (not shown) and comprises an outer structure in the form of a cage having a base in the form of a polygon which outer structure defines an inner space comprising seating elements where the people may sit during transfer.
  • The term polygon should not be given a strict geometric interpretation requiring that all the sides of the base are straight lines. Conversely, the term is used in this specification to encompass also figures where the sides of the polygonal base may show some degree of curvature as it shown, for example, in Figure 2.
  • In a first aspect of the present invention, the seating elements are disposed on the base, radially around its centre and facing alternating sides of the polygon. The sides of the outer structure facing each of the seating elements comprise shock absorbing means to protect seating people from frontal impacts. This eliminates one of the important drawbacks of previously known devices.
  • In another aspect the present invention seeks to further improve the safety of the passenger being transferred by guaranteeing a quick and safe egress from the device since it has been found that speed of egress is a key factor contributing to the safety of transfer devices.
  • It has also been found that speed of egress is often negatively affected by the passenger's hesitation to follow the fastest route of egress in particular when more than one such route exists. To avoid such hesitation the transfer device of the invention has been provided with seating element comprising a seat and a backrest and the seating element and at least one of them has been designed to be asymmetric with respect to a vertical plane (A-A') passing through the centre of the seat and dividing the seat and the backrest in two parts. The asymmetry of the seating elements directs the passenger to take preferentially one of the two possible directions for exiting the transfer device thereby effectively reducing the time to egress and contributing to safety.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention the asymmetric seating element comprises a backrest having extensions towards both sides of the seating element, the extension towards one of the sides being more prominent that the extension towards the opposite side. The backrest's lateral extensions do not only contribute to guide the passenger's direction of egress by virtue of their asymmetry, but also play a role as securing means contributing to prevent lateral involuntary displacement of the passenger.
  • On further measure that has been found useful to avoid the passenger's hesitation to follow the fastest route of egress is the presence of indicating means showing to the passenger occupying the seating elements the preferred direction of egress.
  • In another aspect of the present invention is has also been found that speed of egress could be further increased by reducing the time a passenger needs to stand up from the seating position as this represents a substantial portion of the total time to exit. To reduce the time needed to stand up the seat of the seating elements is inclined forwards so that people when seated are in a partially standing position which makes easier to stand up.
  • In yet a further aspect of the invention the safety of the device is increased by the incorporation of securing means to avoid involuntary displacement of the passenger during transfer caused by acceleration of the transfer device.
  • In one embodiment the securing means comprise lateral extension of the backrest which extensions partially envelop the passenger thereby preventing lateral involuntary displacement of the passenger. Although in a preferred embodiment (which has been described above) the backrest's extensions are asymmetrical (more prominent in one side of the backrest than in the other), they do not necessarily have to be asymmetric to provide the enveloping effect that helps prevent lateral involuntary displacement of the passenger.
  • In another embodiment the securing means comprise hand grips located in the vicinity of the seating elements allowing the passenger to be braced in a secure position, i.e. the passenger is enabled to exert force with his arms to avoid being involuntarily displaced from the optimal seating position. The grips may preferably be mounted on the cage.
  • In another embodiment the securing means comprise a seat having a raised central area and two lateral areas to accommodate the legs of the passenger. This layout provides two advantages: on one side it acts as a horse saddle causing the legs to straddle the profile in such a way that lateral forces applied to the body are transferred to the buttocks and thighs into the saddle, preventing the passenger from being dislodged; on the other side this layout forces the feet of the passenger to be spread widely. By forcing a minimum separation of the feet this design feature provides a more stable position for the passenger thereby further allowing him to avoid being involuntarily displaced from the optimal seating position.
  • In still another embodiment the securing means comprise two footrests located in front of each seating element. The surface of the footrests prepared to receive the feet is preferably inclined in the direction of the passenger so that the angle formed by the feet and the leg is reduced enabling the passenger to exert force with his legs to avoid being involuntarily displaced from the optimal seating position.
  • In yet another embodiment the securing means comprise means to secure the passenger body to the seating element such as a belt or a harness, preferably a full body harness.
  • Preferably, the transporting device is positively buoyant where it is intended to use on water or near water.
  • Typically, the transporting device may have a self-righting capability in water. Preferably, the transporting device may include a keel in or below base section to enhance the self-righting performs of the transporting device.
  • Examples of a transfer system in accordance with the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
    • Fig. 1 is a schematic view of a transfer system comprising the transfer capsule of the present invention in use between two vessels;
    • Fig. 2 is a perspective view, of an example of the transfer device shown in Fig. 1 where the shock absorbing element facing one of the seating elements has been removed to facilitate the view of the device's interior;
    • Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the transfer device of Fig 2 where all seating elements and shock absorbing means have been removed to facilitate the view of the device's load supporting elements;
    • Fig. 4 is a top view of the device of Fig. 2 where the shock absorbing element facing one of three of the seating elements have been removed.
    • Fig. 5 is a side view of the device of Fig. 2 allowing a view of the device carrying two passengers.
  • A transfer system making use of the invention's the transfer device is shown in Fig. 1 and consists of a first example of a device (1) which is in the form of a cage (3) offering protection to personnel or equipment during transfer between vessels at sea. The system comprises a crane (18) mounted on a structure (such as a first vessel or a marine platform) (19), the crane can be operated to pick up and transfer the device (1) using a crane hook (not shown) which is attached to the device's coupling means (2).The transfer device (1) will usually be buoyant and self-righting to minimise the risks to personnel in the event of inadvertent immersion. The device (1) will generally be constructed of materials which are not prone to corrosion or early deterioration.
  • The transfer device of the present invention has means for coupling (2) it to a lifting device and comprises an outer structure in the form of a cage (3) having a base (4) in the form of a polygon which outer structure defines an inner space (5) comprising seating elements (6) where the people may sit during transfer.
  • The base (4) of the transfer device may be made for example of steel grating or other similar material.
  • In one embodiment the shape of the device approximates that of a domed polygonal prism with the means for coupling the device being located at the dome's uppermost position.
  • The term polygon when used in the present application to designate the shape of the transfer device's base is meant to designate not only strict polygonal figures but also figures having the general shape of a polygon where one or more of the polygon's sides are curved (for example, in the shape of an arch sharing its centre with the polygon's centre).It is also possible that the base comprises a central portion which may be in the shape of a polygon and peripheral pieces attached to the central portion as for example shock absorbing and/or flotation means (20) as is illustrated in Figure 3
  • The transfer device (1) is normally provided with a central vertical shaft (21) aligned with the centre of the base which is connected to the cage of the transfer device and provides a facility by which the capsule may be lifted. The central shaft (21) may at its lowermost part be divided in two or more legs (22) for example taking the shape of an inverted Y letter or an inverted Psi (Ψ) letter as is shown in figures 3 and 5.
  • The central shaft (21) and the cage structure (3) are preferably made of a resistant and light material such as stainless steel tubing material. The tubes are mechanically joined (i.e. weldged or bolted) to form the cage structure.
  • The transfer device (1) also has seating elements (6) which are disposed on the base (4), radially around its centre and facing alternating sides (7a,7b) of the polygon. The seating elements (6) may also be attached to the shaft (21). Springing, shock absorbing and motion compensating arrangements (not shown) may also be included to provide protection from shock to passengers.
  • Furthermore it is a feature of the present invention that the sides of the outer structure facing each of the seating elements (6) comprise shock absorbing means (23) to protect seating people from frontal impacts. This is shown, for example in Figures 2, 4 and 5.
  • The shock absorbing elements (23) at the transfer device's sides facing the seating elements (6) may be constructed from any material capable of absorbing the forces received when the device collides with any external element during a transfer operation. An example of such shock absorbing element (23) is a foam panel attached to the cage (3) around the periphery of the device. In one embodiment the foam panel may be made in the form of a hollow moulded plastic panel filled with a foam material. In another embodiment the foam panels may be made, for example, by sandwiching a steel mesh between two sheets of foam. This shock absorbing elements may also contribute to rendering the device buoyant in water so as to keep the device afloat and to provide its self-righting characteristic. The foam panels may be fixed at the frame by tensioned wires attached to the steel mesh.
  • The seating elements (6) typically comprise a seat (8) and a backrest (9) and are preferably asymmetric with respect to a vertical plane (A-A') passing through the centre of the seat (8) and dividing the seat (8) and the backrest (9) in two unequal parts. In an embodiment the seat (8) and or/backrest (9) have extensions towards both sides of the seating element (6), the extension (10a) towards one of the sides being more prominent that the extension (10b) towards the opposite side. The lateral extensions (10a, 10b) serve two different purposes: firstly the envelope the body of the passenger occupying the seating element (6) thereby reducing the likelihood that the passenger is displaced from his normal seating position when the device suffers accelerations such as those taking place, for example, when the device collides with an external element; secondly the unequal size of the lateral extensions makes it easier for the passenger to take one the two possible directions when standing up from the seating element (6). In effect it will be easier for a passenger to stand up on the side which has a smaller lateral extension (10b).
  • We have already seen that lateral extensions (10a, 10b) of unequal size help facilitate a quick egress from the transfer device. Additionally further means to facilitate such egress may also be provided. For example, there may be provided on the base (4) of the device at the vicinity of each seating element, indicating means (11) showing to the passenger occupying the seating elements (6) the preferred direction of egress. In some particular embodiments the indicating means (11) may take the form of an arrow pointing towards the direction of egress or a triangle with one of its vertex pointing towards the direction of egress.
  • The seat (8) of the seating elements may advantageously be inclined forwards (i.e. in the direction opposed to the backrest) so that people when seated are in a partially standing position. This design feature provides two advantages: firstly the passenger being in a partially standing position will be capable of standing up more quickly to egress from the transfer device and thus the safety of the device is ameliorated; secondly when hand grips (12) are located in the vicinity of the seating elements (6), the partially standing position allows the passenger to be in a better bracing position to grasp these hand grips (12).
  • The seating (6) elements might be made of moulded plastic in one or more pieces. Additionally the seating elements (6) may also incorporate separate pieces such as a head rest, a cushion (25) or the like. The head rest (24) and the cushion (25) may be made of a foamed material.
  • Additionally the seating elements may further comprise securing means for securing the people during transfer. The term securing means is used in the present application to designate any means helping the passenger of the transfer device to avoid being displaced from his optimal seating position when the device suffers accelerations such as those taking place, for example, when the device collides with an external element.
  • Such additional securing means may, for example, be in the form of hand grips (12) located in the vicinity of the seating elements (6) allowing the passenger to be braced in a secure position.
  • Such additional securing means may, for example, also be in the form of a seat (8) having a raised central area (13) and two lateral areas (14) to accommodate the legs of the passenger forcing the feet of the passenger to be spread widely. Forcing the legs of the passenger to be spread widely places the passenger in a more stable position whereby he is less likely to be displaced from the optimal seating position when the device suffers accelerations such as those taking place, for example, when the device collides with an external element. Additional securing means helping the passenger to keep an optimal seating position may also comprise two footrests (15) located in front of each seating element (6). As it has been explained before, the surface of the footrests prepared to receive the feet is preferably inclined in the direction of the passenger so that the angle formed by the feet and the leg is reduced enabling the passenger to exert force with his legs to avoid being involuntarily displaced from the optimal seating position. In one embodiment the footrests (15) are integrally built as part of the interior of the moulded shock absorbing means (23) as can be seen in Fig. 5.
  • The securing means may also comprise means to attach the passenger body to the seating element such as a belt (16) or a harness (17).

Claims (12)

  1. Transfer device (1) for transferring people from a first location to a second location the transfer device having means for coupling (2) it to a lifting device and comprising an outer structure in the form of a cage (3) having a base (4) in the form of a polygon which outer structure defines an inner space comprising seating elements (6) where the people may sit during transfer, each seating element (6) comprising a seat (8) and a backrest (9) and being asymmetric, wherein the asymmetry of the seating element directs the passenger to take preferentially one of the two possible directions for exiting the transfer device .
  2. Transfer device according to claim 1, wherein the seating element (6) is asymmetric with respect to a vertical plane (A-A') passing through the centre of the seat and dividing the seat and the backrest in two parts.
  3. Transfer device according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the backrest has extensions (10a, 10b) towards both sides of the seating element, the extension (10a) towards one of the sides being more prominent that the extension (10b) towards the opposite side.
  4. Transfer device according to anyone of the preceding claims characterized in that each seating element (6) comprises a seat (8) which is inclined forwards so that people when seated are in a partially standing position.
  5. Transfer device according to any of the preceding claims characterized in that it comprises indicating means (11) showing to the people occupying the seats the preferred direction of egress.
  6. Transfer device according to any of the preceding claims characterized in that the seating elements (6) further comprise securing means for securing the people during transfer.
  7. Transfer device according to claim 6 characterized in that the securing means comprise hand grips (12) located in the vicinity of the seating elements (6) allowing the passenger to be braced in a secure position.
  8. Transfer device according to anyone of claims 6 and 7 characterized in that the securing means comprise a seat (8) having a raised central area (13) and two lateral areas (14) to accommodate the legs of the passenger forcing the feet of the passenger to be spread widely.
  9. Transfer device according to anyone of claims 6 to 8 characterized in that the securing means comprise two footrests (15) located in front of each seating element (6).
  10. Transfer device according to anyone of claims 6 to 9 characterized in that the securing means comprise means to attach the passenger body to the seating element (6) such as a belt (16) or a harness (17).
  11. Transfer device according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the sides of the outer structure facing each of the seating elements (6) comprise shock absorbing means (23) facing the seating people to protect them from frontal impacts.
  12. Transfer device according to anyone of the preceding claims, wherein the seating elements (6) are disposed on the base (4), radially around its centre and facing alternating sides (7a, 7b) of the polygon so that only every second side has a seating element (6) facing it.
EP13185587.6A 2008-05-19 2008-05-19 Personnel transfer system Withdrawn EP2722267A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP08380155.5A EP2123552B1 (en) 2008-05-19 2008-05-19 Device for transferring persons at sea
EP13185587.6A EP2722267A1 (en) 2008-05-19 2008-05-19 Personnel transfer system

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP13185587.6A EP2722267A1 (en) 2008-05-19 2008-05-19 Personnel transfer system

Related Parent Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP08380155.5A Division-Into EP2123552B1 (en) 2008-05-19 2008-05-19 Device for transferring persons at sea
EP08380155.5A Division EP2123552B1 (en) 2008-05-19 2008-05-19 Device for transferring persons at sea

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP2722267A1 true EP2722267A1 (en) 2014-04-23

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Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP13185587.6A Withdrawn EP2722267A1 (en) 2008-05-19 2008-05-19 Personnel transfer system
EP08380155.5A Active EP2123552B1 (en) 2008-05-19 2008-05-19 Device for transferring persons at sea

Family Applications After (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP08380155.5A Active EP2123552B1 (en) 2008-05-19 2008-05-19 Device for transferring persons at sea

Country Status (2)

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US (2) US8439622B2 (en)
EP (2) EP2722267A1 (en)

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NL2006183C2 (en) * 2011-02-11 2012-08-14 Ridderinkhof B V Transfer system.
CN104044701B (en) * 2013-03-13 2017-06-23 深圳市锋瑞佳实业发展有限公司 Offshore oil facility outboard safety work system and method
US9670037B2 (en) * 2013-10-08 2017-06-06 Advanced Personnel Pods, Llc Personnel transport and transfer system
EP2876035A1 (en) * 2013-11-21 2015-05-27 Reflex Marine Ltd Device for transferring persons
US9566890B2 (en) * 2014-02-07 2017-02-14 American Seating Company Movable stanchion for transit buses
NL1041179B1 (en) 2015-02-09 2016-10-12 Kymmell B V Marine Transfer System.
DE102015219542A1 (en) * 2015-10-08 2017-04-13 Airbus Operations Gmbh Passenger seating arrangement for a traffic vehicle
EP3187228A1 (en) * 2015-12-29 2017-07-05 Reflex Marine Ltd Rescue device
GR1009160B (en) * 2016-07-11 2017-11-10 Κωνσταντινος Κωνσταντινου Ζαχαροπουλος Mechanical arrangement for the safe transport of individuals seating on wheelchairs via boats to harbors inaccessible to cruise ships
EP3395722A1 (en) * 2017-04-28 2018-10-31 Reflex Marine Ltd Transport container

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US2935120A (en) * 1956-07-05 1960-05-03 Glen L Naus Seat and backrest for a locomotive seat
FR2343635A1 (en) * 1976-03-12 1977-10-07 Creissels Denis Sa Cable railway car affording panoramic views - has spherical transparent form with floor revolving slowly about vertical axis
US4108493A (en) * 1977-03-10 1978-08-22 Naus Glen L Locomotive cab seat
EP0018812A1 (en) * 1979-04-30 1980-11-12 Hans Christian Mengshoel Sitting device
EP0155778A2 (en) * 1984-03-01 1985-09-25 Intamin Ag Rapid river ride boat
US5160286A (en) * 1990-07-04 1992-11-03 George Hill Personnel transfer system
US5713710A (en) 1993-03-13 1998-02-03 Strong; Philip Anton Transfer system
US20010018015A1 (en) 1999-04-30 2001-08-30 Kerney H. Johnson Personnel transfer capsule
US20050250396A1 (en) * 2004-05-06 2005-11-10 Hayles David H Rescue lift

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
EP2123552B1 (en) 2017-01-04
US8591162B2 (en) 2013-11-26
US8439622B2 (en) 2013-05-14
US20090285657A1 (en) 2009-11-19
US20130121791A1 (en) 2013-05-16
EP2123552A1 (en) 2009-11-25

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